Hochul backs four-year extension of mayoral control over NYC schools

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By Dan Sears

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday proposed a four-year extension of mayoral control over New York City public schools, again backing Mayor Eric Adams on the hot-button issue.

Mayoral control was last renewed in 2022, but Albany lawmakers granted just a two-year extension — despite Hochul pushing for four years at the time and Adams warning the plan would “harm” Big Apple students.

The State Education Department (SED) has been holding meetings to gather feedback on the policy, set to expire in June, as it prepares a report on its effectiveness to be held in Manhattan on Thursday.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), who oversees the education committee, opposes dealing with mayoral control as part of the state budget.

“First of all, mayoral control of New York City schools has nothing to do with the state budget,” he said.

“Moreover, the State Education Department will soon complete their comprehensive study of school governance in major US school districts as well as the impact on New York City schools of 20 years of mayoral control,” Liu continued.

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“School governance and whether mayoral control should be continued or replaced by a more effective system must be informed by the SED study,” he added. “It’s simply premature and senseless to lump mayoral control in with the state budget.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul has again proposed a four-year extension of mayoral control of New York City public schools, which is scheduled to expire in June AP

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie echoed Liu when asked whether mayoral control belongs in the budget announcement.

“You all know how I feel about policy in the budget, so question asked and answered,” he said.

If lawmakers fail to act, the city would suddenly default to the old Board of Education governance rules, which would guarantee both a chaotic situation and de-facto rule of the United Federation of Teachers union.

“We are looking forward to a fascinating debate on the merits and failings of mayoral control,” Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT told The Post.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), who oversees the committee on NYC, opposes dealing with mayoral control extension of schools as part of the state budget William Farrington

Hundreds have so far gathered at SED meetings in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn with teachers, parents and students railing against Hizzoner after recent budget cuts to the city Department of Education and his resistance to reducing class sizes.

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The state Legislature is holding strong on its costly mandate to reduce class sizes throughout the city to under 25 students per class, a priority of the teachers’ union.

The $233 billion state budget plan for fiscal year 2025 unveiled by Hochul on Tuesday would also reduce aid for some school districts.

Hochul has again backed Mayor Eric Adams on the hot-button issue. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

A 2.7% increase in aid to school districts statewide has been proposed, smaller than the 7.7% annual increases schools have received in the last four years.

Hochul has proposed ending a “hold harmless” policy that means school districts could always count on state aid received the previous year.

“Populations have shifted, and some districts that may not have been high need before are higher need,” Hochul said.

“I want to make sure I have the flexibility to take care of our high needs school districts, and not just have a peanut butter spread at the same all over the bread approach.”

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SUNY and CUNY campuses will also be provided with $207 million in state funding under the budget proposal.

“We are grateful for Governor Kathy Hochul’s unwavering commitment to higher education,” SUNY Chancellor John King Jr. and the board said in a joint statement Tuesday.

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